Dwight Illinois, which has a population 4,260… i.e., is smaller than the public high school I attended in the northern suburbs of Chicago, and as such is one of those small Illinois towns that when you’re planning your 66 trip you’re going to think you can pretty much drive through after a five-minute stop to take a few photos and stretch your legs … only you really shouldn’t… as I frustratingly learned.
I HAD known about the historic Ambler Texaco station, but assumed it would be more like the myriad of other gas historic gas stations I’d passed along Route 66, 90% of which are worth about a five-minute stop at best. I was wrong.
When I got there, pulled over when I saw the state of Illinois Route 66 signage (I do LOVE these things and wish the other states along the route did the same), and discovered that the station was far more of a museum than just a “renovated”but just-for-display gas station, like MYRIAD of the others that I’ve seen along the route. To be honest by this point I’d seen so many preserved gas stations that I was beginning to get bored with themThis one, unlike an active and friendly docent who would have happily spent an hour telling me the history of her town, if I’d had the time, and insisted on taking my photo multiple times
and in addition I discovered that there’s a bunch of things that I would have wanted to see in Dwight, had I known about them in advance… that I simply did not have time to stop and look at.
Which is a shame because among those things that I now didn’t have time to stop to see, was a 1905 Frank Loyd Wright designed bank, which I would really have liked to see …. SIGH… a gothic church built in 1857 that the future King Edward VII had visited looked interesting (and I was VERY VERY VERY amused to see that the sign, which you know has got to have involved more than a few tax payer dollars, said Edward the IV instead of VII — since Edward the IV had died in 1483)… not to mention Dwight historical society in their 1891 train station, or original Keeley Institute which peddled the first cure for alcoholism, which according to this second sign below, included a very interesting looking windmill I would have looked to see.
Will have to come back some other time